I believe in the sixth sense – that feeling you get that “tells” you something. Sometimes we aren’t sure what exactly we are being told until something happens and then we just realize. Other times, we are fairly certain we know what we know… it just needs to be confirmed.
I always knew I would have trouble getting pregnant. I have heard many people in my life speak to this concern, but for me, it was more than a concern. I knew it would be my reality. My sixth sense told me so. My body also certainly showed me signs from early on… enough that even in college I would ask my doctor about it. The concern was always brushed away. I was young. I wasn’t trying to get pregnant. It wasn’t an issue.
But, it became one.
Once my husband and I were actively thinking about getting pregnant, I brought the conversation up with my doctor once again. This time it was more of a discussion – but even so, my concerns were still brushed slightly to the side. “There is a pill you can take.”, I was told. I was beyond thrilled! “I can take a pill and I will get pregnant!” Could it really be that easy?
Maybe for some… not for naive me.
I took the pill, I had a few ultrasounds and eventually, I had a diagnosis… Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The sixth sense had been proven correct. Getting pregnant was not going to be easy for me. During this time, I learned two things:
- My body doesn’t cycle the way a normal woman’s does. Instead of developing a viable follicle and egg to fertilize each month, my ovaries are the home to multiple cysts… incapable of bringing forth life without significant intervention.
- And remember that magic pill, I mentioned above. Yeah, my body doesn’t respond to that pill.
Once my OB and I figured out the two points above, they brought with them the first mention of a Reproductive Endocrinologist.
As with any health concern, there is no one-size-fits-all. This is true for every aspect of infertility. From diagnosis, to medical interventions, to personal beliefs, to emotions, to marriages… every situation is unique and oh so complicated.
Emotionally, I remember feeling so many different things.
- Relief – Yes, relief. Even though my worst fears had just been realized, I was finally being heard. We had a name for what we were dealing with and we could move forward.
- Numb – I was not surprised by my diagnosis, but I was also not prepared for it. When you hear those words applied to you and your life it is surreal. I wasn’t sure what to do or think – for quite a while.
- Scared – What if treatments don’t work? Seriously, what if they don’t work?
- Impatient – Let’s do this tomorrow! (It is not that quick my friends – lots and lots of steps and waiting are involved in this process.)
- Lonely – This one makes me mad and sad in hindsight. I really wish more people talked about this stuff. I felt so incredibly isolated.
- Shame – Because no one really talks about infertility, there is some element of feeling like a failure and inadequate. Why couldn’t my body do what it was made to do?
- Grief – This one started early and persisted. It came in many forms with varying intensity. I still feel it today. I don’t know if it will ever really leave me.
- Hopeful – Because you have to be.
It has taken me a really long time to actually begin writing about my experience with infertility. Due to point #5 above, I have become more open about my experiences with others who are going through them. I am more than happy to talk with anyone who needs to talk. However, for some reason every time I try to write about it, it still overwhelms me. Writing is more personal in some ways, I suppose. But, I do have a lot to say about my journey, so I am determined to tell my story. If it ultimately helps even one woman to feel less alone and scared and more hopeful and supported… then it will have been worth it.
And feel free to share yours with me if you would like.